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2023-2024 Graduate Calendar [ARCHIVED CALENDAR]

Applied Bioscience, MSc


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General information


The primary objective of the Master of Science (MSc) program in Applied Bioscience is to train students to become high-quality researchers at the interface between chemistry and biology. The Faculty of Science, with no traditional departments, provides students a dynamic environment in which to explore interdisciplinary research within collaborative networks. The program brings together students and faculty from a variety of scientific backgrounds to enrich the student learning experience. The graduate program equips students with a wide array of practical and conceptual scientific skills to prepare them for leadership roles in the life sciences through independent research and rigorous course work. In keeping with the university’s strategic plan, research within the Applied Bioscience program is aimed at creating innovations that will improve the lives of Canadians.

Graduates from this program are expected to have a breadth of knowledge in the life sciences, a depth of knowledge in their chosen field, and the scientific and technical skills that are essential for a career in research and industry. It is also expected that graduates will continue to make significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge in their field and become lifelong scholars with an appreciation of the impact of science on society.

The program capitalizes on the faculty’s current research expertise which is reflected in four fields:

  • Biomolecular Science
  • Ecosystem Health
  • Forensic Bioscience
  • Human Health Biology

These fields are interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary in nature and require students to rely on research methods in both chemistry and biology in order to answer specific research questions.

Biomolecular science focuses on the use of molecular and cellular tools to investigate mechanisms of cell function; new approaches for combating infectious organisms and disease; biomaterials and bio-based products; drug discovery, drug formulation and site-specific drug delivery; the mechanisms of action of pharmaceuticals at the cellular and molecular level; and the molecular and cellular aspects of the immune system in response to pathogenic and non-pathogenic micro-organisms. Research in this field occurs at the interface of biology and chemistry.

The field of ecosystem health focuses on determining the implications of external toxicants on the health of ecosystems, discovering indicators for environmental problems and developing methods to lessen human exposure to toxicants. In addition, researchers in the program investigate related areas such as environmental microbiology, the pathophysiology of environmental disorders and the micro and macro environmental factors causing cancer. Finally, research in the field focuses on specific environmental problems and the development of solutions that benefit Canadians.

Forensic bioscience is a distinct field that combines special content areas of biological and chemical sciences with training in legal and forensic investigations. National security, bioterrorism and global pandemics are just three examples of areas in which skilled forensic bioscience workers will be in high demand in the future. For many scientists, the field of forensic bioscience crystallizes an area of research at the interface between biology, chemistry, forensic science and legal science.

Human health biology is a field that addresses the basic understanding of human health with a particular emphasis on common human diseases, human movement science, applied physiology and respiratory illnesses. Efforts in this field concentrate on laboratory-based research that will translate into disease prevention and management, health promotion and novel therapeutic interventions. The four main areas of investigation are cancer, neuro-musculoskeletal function, exercise physiology and respiratory health. This field is further characterized by interdisciplinary research at the interface of several complementary core disciplines.

Admission requirements


In addition to the general admission requirements for graduate studies , Applied Bioscience applicants must hold an honours undergraduate degree in biology, chemistry or related area.

To assist with the assessment of the application, applicants may be asked to provide course numbers, titles and brief descriptions of course content; syllabi; textbooks used and/or chapters covered; and grades received in relevant areas of study.

Admission depends on the availability of a research supervisor. Applicants should contact the potential supervisor before formally applying.

A current list of graduate faculty is available on the Faculty of Science’s website.

Part-time studies


The MSc program is intended to be a full-time program. Therefore, there is currently no part-time enrolment.

Degree requirements


Students must successfully complete three 3-credit courses, including:

Students are expected to attend and participate in the Applied Bioscience Seminar by registering in the APBS 6000G - MSc Applied Bioscience Seminar Series  continuance course in each semester.

In addition, they must complete the required non-credit course APBS 6030G - MSc Exit Seminar  and prepare and orally defend a thesis (APBS 6020G - MSc Thesis in Applied Bioscience ) and receive a pass.

Course listing


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